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Best Belgian footballers of all time

Sunday06 December 2020 | 4:30
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Here, We Take a Look at the Top 10 Best Belgian footballers of all time

Belgium has been labeled as the dark horse of world football for the last decade. The Red Devils have been honored with their very own 'Golden Generation', which, as with many of these lauded teams, has failed miserably to live up to expectations thus far. But their time may still come.

In 2018, they achieved the best result of their time. For Roberto Martinez and his players, who finished third in the tournament, the World Cup was a big move in the right direction. But who have been the standout players to have dragged them to this point?

Here we take a look back at the greatest

Belgium

XI from 1922 to 2020. finishing third in Euro 1972, runners-up in Euro 1980, and a semi-finalist in FIFA World Cup 1986. This short period of success was the product of the first golden generation of stars in Belgium.

Undoubtedly, be successful as a soccer player is a very difficult challenge, But Belgium has introduced big stars to the world of football.

This Classora survey presents the most prominent players for Belgium. In your opinion, who is the

Best Belgian footballers of all time

?

Now without further due let's have a look at the Best Belgian footballers of all time.

In the following article, we will take a look at the Top facts about Thibaut Courtois,

Real Madrid

's goalkeeper. First, we present you with some of the general information.

Best Belgian footballers of all time

In the following article, we will take a look at the Best Belgian footballers of all time

Thibaut Courtois

  • Date Of Birth:

    11 May 1992

  • Position:

    Goalkeeper, Height 200 cm

  • Major Club:

    Chelsea, Real Madrid

  • Caps

    : 80 Games

  • World Cup Participation:

    2018

  • Club Honours:

    2 Times La Liga - 1 Time Copa Del Rey, 2012 Europa League - 2014 UEFA Champion - League Runner-Up - 2018 FIFA Club World Cup

  • International Honours:

    None

  • Individual Achievement: 

    2013 La Liga Best Goalkeeper- 2014 Belgian Sportsman of the year- 2017 Premier League Golden Glove- 2018 FIFA World Cup Best Goalkeeper

  • 2018 IFFHS World Best Goalkeeper, 2014 Runner-Up

  • Class:

    Prince Gold

A familiar name to fans of the Premier League, Courtois was largely excellent in a

Chelsea

shirt between 2014 and 2018 - winning two Premier League titles along the way and He was one of the

best belgian football players ever

in the Premier League.

Subsequently, Courtois moved to

Real Madrid

for £38 million after the World Cup and won 79 caps for his country at the age of 27. The price of Thibaut Courtois on the transfer market website is estimated at £75000000.

Courtois is a man who was designed for the biggest of Tough conditions. And he was one of the

greatest Belgian soccer players ever

.The 27-year-old was the excellent goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup, making more saves than any other shot-stopper at the tournament, and he particularly starred in the Red Devils' 2-1 victory over the much-fancied Brazil.

For his efforts, Courtois rightfully won the Golden Glove award.

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Vincent Kompany

  • Position:

    Center-Back

  • Height:

    190 cm, Caps: 47 Games

  • Major Club:

    Anderlecht, Manchester City

  • World Cup Participation:

    None

  • Club Honours:

    1 Time Premier League, 1 Time FA Cup, 2 Times Belgian League, 1 Time Belgian Cup

  • International Honours:

    None

  • Individual Achievement:

    2004 Belgian Golden Shoe

  • Class:

    Prince Silver

Date Of Birth:

10 April 1986

One of the

greatest Belgian soccer players ever

, Vincent Kompany was an automatic choice for this spot, thanks to his physical dominance and excellent defensive skills.

Vincent Kompany is the

best belgian football players ever

and considered one of the best center-back of his generation. The 28-year-old showed promise from an early age, being named Belgian Player of the Year and making his debut for the national team while still in his teens.

At the club level, He played for

Anderlecht

and

Hamburger

Sv before joining

Manchester City

in 2008. Winning the Belgian Golden Shoe as a teenager, Kompany helped Anderlecht win two Belgian Pro League titles. 

In 2011-2012, he became the captain of Manchester City, At the peak of his careerleading his club to win the Premier League that season, their first league title in 44 years.

The leader of the new golden generation of Belgian football, Vincent Kompany has established himself as one of the best central defenders in the world since his move to Manchester City. Kompany has been the backbone of Belgium's new golden generation, leading them by example.

He earned more than 94 caps and played at the 2014 and 2018 World Cup Finals.

Jean-Marie Pfaff 

  • Date Of Birth:

    4 December 1953, Height: 180  cm

  • Position:

    Goalkeeper, Caps: 64 Games

  • Major Club:

    Beveren, Bayern Munich

  • World Cup Participation: 

    1982, 1986 (10 Games)

  • Club Honours:

    3 Times Bundesliga, 2 Times DFB Pokal, 1 Time Belgium Cup, 1987 European Cup Runner-Up

  • International Honours:

    1986 FIFA World Cup Fourth Place, 1980 European Championship Runner-Up

  • Individual Achievement:

    1978 Belgium Golden Shoe, 2 Times European Goalkeeper Of The Year (1983, 1987), 1987 IFFHS World‘s Best Goalkeeper, 1999 IFFHS Belgium Goalkeeper of The Century

 

Class:

Queen Silver        

Jean-Marie Pfaff was one of

 best Belgian footballers of all time

 during the late 1970s and 1980s. Part of Belgium's first golden generation, Pfaff was a club legend for K.S.K Beveren and Bayern Munich. winning a league title and a cup with Beveren before securing a move to German giants

Bayern Munich

There, he won two Bundesliga titles and three DFB-Pokal crowns before brief stints with Lierse and

Trabzonspor

. He participated at the World Cup Finals of 1982 and 1986, and at the European Championship of 1980 and 1984. He was the starting goalkeeper as Belgium finished second at Euro 1980 and reached the semifinal at Mexico 1986.

Alongside numerous other individual accolades, Pfaff was also the first player to be awarded IFFHS's World's Best Goalkeeper in 1987.

as well as being included in the 1986 World Cup Dream Team. IFFHS later named him the 10th best goalkeeper of the 20th century, while Pele included him in his 125 greatest living footballers in celebration of FIFA's 100th anniversary.

Jean-Marie Pfaff was arguably the most important member of Belgium's original golden generation as he carved out a formidable reputation in the Red Devils' goal.

An 11-year international career saw him take in four major tournaments, including helping Belgium to second place in the 1980 European Championships and a best-ever finish of fourth in the 1986 World Cup.

Eden Hazard

  • Date Of Birth:

    7 January 1991

  • Position:

    Attacking Midfielder/Left-Winger

  • Height:

    173 cm,

  • Caps:

    102 Games (30 Goals)

  • Major Club:

    Lille, Chelsea

  • World Cup Participation:

    None

  • Club Honours:

    1 Time French League, 2 Time Premier League, 1 Time FA Cup, French Cup, 2013 UEFA Europa League

  • International Honours:

    None

  • Individual Achievement:

    2011 Bravo Awards, 2 Times French League Player of The Year (2011, 2012), 2015 PFA Player of the Year, 2017 Belgian Golden Shoe

Eden Hazard has already earned 100 caps and led Belgium to the semi-final of the World Cup in 2018 and was the outstanding player at the 2018 World Cup. For 8 years he played for Lille in France.

After making early progress in Lille, Hazard joined Chelsea and helped deliver two league titles to West London while at Chelsea, where he developed into a household name. As a key member of Belgium's national side, Hazard was influential in helping Belgium qualify for FIFA World Cup 2014 after a gap of 12 years, where they were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

They also reached the quarter-finals in Euro 2016. Since the 1920 Olympics, Belgians haven't won any major international silverware. But with Belgium's new golden generation on rising, Eden Hazard and his men have the unique chance.In June 2012, he signed with Chelsea, where he won two Europa League in 2012 and 2019.

For the 2014-2015 season in England, he won both FWA and PFA Player of the Year. Eden Hazard is undoubtedly the most gifted Belgian soccer player of all time. His speed, creativity, and dribbling skills have made him a lethal weapon that can cause havoc in the opposition's defense.

One big change that the winger’s market value saw, was when he decided to finally make his dream move to one of the greatest clubs in the world as one of the club’s newest arrivals in the third Galacticos era. In 2019, he joined

Real Madrid

.

The talented winger has endured an injury-hit season since swapping Stamford Bridge for the Bernabeu last summer but will be a key man once again for his country when the Euros eventually take place next year. And if Belgians consider him as better than Enzo Scifo, then that is also high praise.

This guy has magic in his boots. Eden Hazard dazzles with his lightning pace, tricky footwork, and mesmerizing dribbling skills. Hazard proved during his time at

Chelsea

that he can be one of the very best in the world, and now at Real Madrid, he has the chance to fulfill his prophecy and dominate Europe.

Wilfried van Moer

  • Date Of Birth:

    1 March 1945

  • Position:

    Box-to-Box Midfielder

  • Height:

    168 cm,

  • Caps:

     57 Games

  • Major Club:

    Standard Liege

  • World Cup Participation:

    1970, 1982 (6 Games)

  • Club Honours:

    3 Times Belgian League

  • International Honours:

    1980 European Championship Runner-Up

  • Individual Achievement:

    3 Times Belgian Golden Shoe (1966, 1969, 1970), Standard Liege Greatest Player Ever

  • Class:

    Prince Gold

Wilfried Van Moer is considered one of the

greatest Belgian soccer players ever

. He played 57 times and between 1966 and 1982, scored 9 goals for the national team. Van Moer played in the team for the 1970 and 1982 World Cups and for the Euro 1980 in which Belgium finished second.

He also led to Belgium reaching the semifinal of Euro 1972. when he was already 35 years old in 1980.  He finished fourth in the same year as the European Player of the Year. For his club career, he was associated with Beveren, Royal Antwerp, and Standard Liege.

Incredibly successful at club level, with Standard Liege, he won a hat-trick of Belgian league titles. Van Moer was another part of the Belgian Euro 1980 runners-up, a diminutive, energetic midfielder who was probably the best player in that tournament.

His quality on the ball was excellent, allowing him to win 57 caps and three Belgian titles during an impressive career with Standard Liege.

He was one of the

best Belgian soccer players of all time

of the Belgian side, Wilfried van Moer would have surely added to his tally of 57 caps had it not been for a broken leg that kept him out of the international setup for the best part of five years. When he eventually was recalled, he quickly established himself as the team's most valuable asset and played well into his 30s.

If we imagine Van Moer is going to be the heart of this side, Enzo Scifo will be its brain. With his creativity, intelligence, and technique, he was Belgium's very own Michael Platini.

Scifo had a remarkable career that included winning titles with

Anderlecht

, Torino, and AS Monaco. Part of Belgium's 1986 World Cup side, he was declared FIFA World Cup Best Young Player after the tournament.

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Jef Mermans 

  • Date Of Birth:

    16 February 1922

  • Height:

    182 cm,

  • Position:

    Target Striker

  • Major Club:

    Anderlecht,

  • Caps:

    56 Games (28 Goals)

  • World Cup Participation:

    1954 (2 Games and No Goal)

  • Professional Scores Record:

    343 Goals /384 Games

  • Club Honours:

    7 Times Belgian League

  • International Honours:

    None

  • Individual Achievement:

    1954 Belgian Golden Shoe, 4 Times Belgian League Top Scorer, 1950 European/World League Top Scorer Anderlecht All-Time Top Scorer

  • Class:

    Prince Silver

If you don’t know much about the Jef Mermans one of the

best Belgian soccer players of all time

, Let's talk a little more about himThe early career of Jef Mermans was blighted by World War II, but that didn't prevent Anderlecht handing minnows Tubantia a blank cheque to secure the services of the striker. 

finally was a record fee of 125,000 Belgian francs and the beginning of an illustrious career. Mermans went on to score a record 338 goals in 384 matches for

Anderlecht

, helped the team to seven Belgian championships, and finishing as top scorer in the competition on three occasions. 

His form was like the

Best Belgian footballers of all times

impressive that the Big clubs. likes of

Roma

,

Torino

,

Lazio

,

Atletico Madrid

, and even the all-conquering

Real Madrid

made offers for him. He was 11 years as an international player and remains Belgium's fourth-highest scorer of all time with 27 goals. 

He also played in the 1954 World Cup, helping his side to a memorable 4-4 draw against England.

Jan Ceulemans 

  • Date Of Birth:

    28 February 1957

  • Height:

    191 cm,

  • Position:

    Attacking Midfielder

  • Caps:

    96 Games (23 Goals),

  • Major Club:

    Club Brugge

  • Professional Score Record:

    231 Goals/ 515 Games

  • World Cup Participation:

    1982, 1986, 1990 (16 Games)

  • Club Honours:

    4 Times Belgian League, 2 Times Belgian Cup

  • International Honours:

    1980 European Championship Runner-Up

  • Individual Achievement:

    3 Times Belgian Golden Shoe (1980, 1985,1986), 1980 European Championship Team of The Tournament, 1986 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team, Club Brugge All-Time Top Scorer - Greatest Player Ever

  • Class:

    Queen Bronze

If we wanted to choose one player who was the nucleus of Belgium's golden generation, it has to be Jan Ceulemans. Jan Ceulemans is considered one of the

famous Belgian footballers in history.

His impressive technique, endless stamina, and imposing frame caused him to play in various forward positions, mostly as an attacking midfielder or a second striker. 

For most of his career, Ceulemans played for Club Brugge, winning numerous accolades with his club as well as individually. He started his football with

Lierse S.K

., then spent 13 years with Brugge, turning down

AC Milan

to stay with them. 

No player has won more international caps for Belgium than Jan Ceulemans, who acted as the driving force behind their purple patch in the 1980s. He was instrumental in helping the team to the 1980 European Championships final, while six years later he led the team to fourth place in the World Cup - their best finish in the competition.

He also featured in the 1982 World Cup. At club level he is most synonymous with Club Brugge having turned down an offer to join Italian giants AC Milan, going on to make more than 400 appearances for the club.

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He was named both the Belgian Player of the Year and Belgian Professional Footballer of the Year on three occasions and And no doubt was one of the famous Belgian footballers in history included in the Euro 1980 and 1986 World Cup Dream Teams.

His biggest achievement, however, was delivering Belgium to the semi-finals of FIFA World Cup 1986 with his three goals, including a spectacular diving header against Spain in the quarterfinals.

Ceulemans also made it to the

FIFA World Cup

All-Star Team that year. The fact that no other Belgian outfield player has achieved this feat speaks volumes about his achievements.

He was instrumental as Belgium reached the Final of the European Championship in 1980 and the semi-final at the 1986 World Cup Finals. He also went to the 1982 and 1990 World Cup Finals and Euro 1984.

Paul van Himst 

  • Date Of Birth:

     2 October 1943

  • Height:

      181 cm, Position: Creative Forward

  • Major Club:

     Anderlecht,

  • Caps:

     81 Games (30 Goals)

  • World Cup Participation:

     1970 (3 Games and No Goal)

  • Professional Score Record: 

    233 Goals/ 457 Games

  • Club Honours:

     8 Times Belgian League, 4 Times Belgian Cup

  • International Honours:

     None

  • Individual Achievement:

     3 Times Belgian League Top Scorer, Times Belgian Golden Shoe (1960, 1961, 1965, 1974), Anderlecht and Belgian League Greatest Player Ever, 1999 IFFHS Belgium Player of The Century, UEFA Jubilee Award (Belgium), Belgium All-Time Top Scorer

  • Class:

     Queen Bronze

Paul Van Himst is widely regarded as one of the

 

Best Belgian footballers of all time. His exceptional technical abilities and prolific goal-scoring made him one of the most iconic players in world football during the '60s.

Van Himst had a legendary Presence at

Anderlecht

, a side with which he won eight Belgian league titles and a record four Belgian Golden Shoe awards. With 30 goals in his 81 matches, no player has scored more times for Belgium than Paul van Hirst.

That is just one of a number of records set in an illustrious career spanning 18 years, 14 of which saw him turn out for the Red Devils. The majority of his club football was spent with Anderlecht, where he won eight league titles and scored 233 goals in 457 appearances.

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At the international level, his 81 caps encompassed two major tournaments, including the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. The oldest man on this list at 76, it is a testament to his talents that so many fans remembered his skills so fondly. In 2003 he was named Belgium's best player of the last 50 years, Around 1960 and 1974, he scored 30 goals in 81 games for the Red Devils.

He even featured in the classic 1980 film Escape to Victory as Michel Fileu. His four Belgian Player of the Year awards are a record, while both UEFA and the Belgian FA honored him in 2003 as the best player in the world in the last 50 years. 

IFFHS went even further and classed him as the 39th greatest player of the 20th century, above the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Roberto Baggio, and Tom Finney.

Kevin de Bruyne

  • Date Of Birth:

    28 June 1991

  • Height:

    181 cm,

  • Position:

    Playmaker

  • Major Club:

    Manchester City

  • Caps:

    72 Games

  • World Cup Participation:

    2014 (4 Games)

  • Club Honours:

    1 Time Belgian League, 1 Time Premier League, 1 Time Belgian Cup, 1 Time DFB Pokal

  • International Honours:

    None

  • Individual Achievement:

    2015 Bundesliga Player of the Year, 2015 Belgian Sportsman of the Year

  • Class:

    Prince Silver

What do you want to know about Kevin De Bruyne? Simply put, he is an absolute magician and a freak of footballing nature. De Bruyne began his career at Genk. After an unsuccessful spell with

Chelsea

, he was named  Footballer of the Year in Germany while playing with Wolfsburg. In 2015, he signed a contract with

Manchester City

for £54 million.

De Bruyne is one of the

greatest Belgian soccer players

, winning two titles with City and 74 caps at 28 for Belgium. Since 2010, he has played over 70 caps for Belgium. He helped Belgium to reach the semi-final at the 2018 World Cup Finals.

Prior to the suspension of the season, Kevin De Bruyne was having a particularly outstanding one - providing 16 assists in the Premier League for Manchester City is an amazing statistic. In many people's ideas, the Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne is one of the Best Belgian footballers of all time and best midfielder in the world.

De Bruyne is renowned for his ability to accurate passes execute passes which other professionals wouldn't have even contemplated, and his devastating technique makes him one of the best strikers in the sport. He is the heartbeat of Belgium and a gloriously talented player.

Romelu Lukaku

  • Date Of Birth:

    13 May 1993 (age 27)

  • Height:

    1.90 m,

  • Position:

    Striker

  • Major Club:

    Inter Milan

  • Caps:

    89 Games

  • World Cup Participation:

    2018

  • International Honours:

    None

  • Class:

    Prince Silver

The 26-year-old has scored goals prolifically wherever he has been and has the ability to break every single national team record with Belgium, having made his international debut at just 16 in 2010.

Lukaku already has 89 caps, scoring an extraordinary 52 goals in that period. The bustling striker is enjoying a goal-laden season at

Inter Milan

following his

Manchester United

exit last summer.The fact that Jan Ceulemans is ahead of the legend of the Eighties speaks volumes.

And Lukaku partners Hazard, completing the lineup. It's no surprise, either. No matter what Manchester United fans will tell you about his first performances in the big games, the Belgian striker is a natural goal scorer and a clinical finisher.

At the age of only 26, Lukaku is already the Red Devils' all-time leading goalscorer, racking up 52 goals in 84 matches. You cannot argue with those numbers. Still in his prime, Belgium will be relying on the forward to propel them to glory over the coming years.

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